Rebecca Lavoie couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw a pink and yellow moth on the veranda of her New Hampshire home.
With wings as vivid as a butterfly’s and a fluffy lemon-yellow body, the beautifully colored rose maple moth looked like something out of a cartoon. Lavoie was able to get a snapshot of the one-of-a-kind visitor and shared it on Twitter. Lavoie tweeted, “This moth lives in nature and it’s ON MY DECK.”
This moth exists in nature and it’s ON MY DECK pic.twitter.com/frBXkvav3d
— Rebecca Lavoie (@reblavoie) May 21, 2020
This moth may appear to be from a tropical island, but it is really from North America, with a range that stretches from southern Canada to Florida and west to Texas.
It gets its name from its distinctive pink hue and affinity for residing in deciduous woods and suburban areas, where it prefers to live on maple trees. They aren’t particular about where they live, though, and may be found on oak trees as well.
70s Disco Moth resting after it's usual nightly activities. pic.twitter.com/wj1fEYAfsi
— Ageless O₂ Absorber (@dr_barnowl) May 22, 2020
Most people would be happy to have such a vivid insect in their yard, but Lavoie discovered that the moth had brought along a companion later that evening.
On Twitter, Lavoie commented, “Update: This kind of moth *really* appears to like hanging out on our deck.”
Update: Now there are TWO of them! pic.twitter.com/VzlBEEnRts
— Rebecca Lavoie (@reblavoie) May 22, 2020
Rosy maple moths appear throughout the spring, anywhere from March to May, according to the University of Virginia’s Mountain Lake Biological Station.
Except when it’s time to mate, these moths are usually solitary and nocturnal. Male moths take up pheromones released by female moths via their feathery antennae. The adult moths emerge in the late afternoon and mate in the late evening when the conditions are appropriate, according to the station.
Update: This species of moth *really* seems to enjoy hanging out on our deck. pic.twitter.com/vSQKwfNr8e
— Rebecca Lavoie (@reblavoie) May 26, 2020